Wild lilies

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By Bradley Robertson

About two weeks ago, my husband and I woke up at 5 a.m. together for a date. A turkey hunt date.
Isaac laid out camo for the two of us the night before along with two guns and a turkey call. When the alarm went off at 5 a.m. it was still black night outside our window. Isaac jumped out of bed, as he so easily does, and brought me a cup of coffee with a cheeky grin.
We soon snuck out the front door into early dark hours to track down a turkey.
We walked the long distance across our front pasture under moonlight, barely able to see a path in front of us. My husband, who grew up on this land, lead the way with precision. I trailed behind carefully following his steps, trying to avoid cow patties or a hole dug by a critter.
The vast colors of the coming sun were still hidden, grey darkness was felt all around us. The only signs of daybreak were the birds we heard in the distance, coming from the woods which we were headed to.
When we arrived, it sounded as if I had entered a tropical rain forest. The complete silence of the pasture had turned into loud song, feathers of the forest greeting the rest of us to a new day.
Within minutes we found ourselves hunkered underneath a tree, waiting on the arrival of our turkey. I gazed and I watched and I listened. Paying attention to every movement and sound in the dark thicket. I had never experienced morning like this before. My back against the tree and my eyes wide open. I had lived on this land for more than 15 years, but never this. Dew upon my face, gun resting in my arms, I could sense every tall tree and short brush. I could see clear outlines of leaves near and far and if one moved slightly off in the distance, I noticed.
My senses came to life, no longer hushed by the loud of the outside world, but now keen and crisp, on guard and in high alert of life around me.
We sat here, together, both leaning on one side of the tree, resting our bodies upon leaves and dirt, waiting and wondering and resting in the present. We sat together as moonlight left and sunlight began to climb its way up. A turkey never showed his face to us here.
After 45 minutes and the sun beginning to break, Isaac decided it was time to take a walk. We began weaving in and out of pine trees and vines. Splashing through creeks and dodging thorns in search of Isaac’s old hunting spot from when he was a boy. “We used to could hear turkeys gobble all season long,” he said. “Now, I hardly ever hear them.”
As we were wandering, I spotted something white off in the distance, just a few hundred yards in front of me. I kept walking and didn’t speak up when I saw it, allowing my husband to have his quiet moment pondering turkeys. The ground had turned to marsh and soon all around me were hundreds of white lilies, wild white lilies. They decorated the ground against still waters and moss and baggy trees. I was in awe and utter delight. “What a lovely little find,” I thought.
I stood staring and gazing off at the patches that continued in the distance. Perfectly white flowers scattered one by one and then by the dozens. “Isaac,” I called. “You got to come see this. There are white lilies everywhere.”
He left his thought and attention and made his way over toward me. “They’re fed by all this water down here. It’s a swamp baby.” Swamp or not, it was flowers; found in the middle of Alabama forest.
Lilies found in abundance, found among thorns and snakes and critters I don’t even want to imagine.
Found in swampy waters, the very thing that was feeding them life. White beauty and perfection, blooming in morning light that was once darkness.
It dawned on me, these flowers may have been found by me, but they were never actually lost. They were resting and thriving in the very place God had placed them. And every day God fed them, every day God grew them, everyday He touched them with his glory to make them white as snow.
The only task of the lily was to be still and rest.
Every day, God feeds us. Every day God grows with us. And every day He touches us with His glory to make us white as snow.
I’m convinced that God brought me to the lilies the other day; for me and for you.
It’s as if God said, “I see you. Just as I see these lilies. I will bring you abundance too. I will feed you life. Just be still. I have found you too.”
God pays attention to us, we only need to pay attention to God.
It is Easter friends. No church, no fancy clothes, but the greatest opportunity to notice God. He is everywhere. In our home, in our joy and in our sorrow. In our families and at our tables. In the blooms and in every breathe of Spring air. Sit with God this Easter friends. Stay with him a while. See him and thank him for life.
“I have come that they may have life, and have it in abundance…” John 10:10
Happy Easter everyone!

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